Quartararo controls Dutch GP to take victory in Assen

Fabio Quartararo has taken a well deserved victory in the Dutch GP, controlling the race and heading a Yamaha 1-2 with Maverick Vinales second.

A race that was expected to be dominated by the Yamaha’s came to fruition at the end, but Quartararo had to fight for the lead in the opening stages.

As the lights went out pole-sitter Vinales struggled to get away well and was forced to sit-up as Quartararo cut across the Spaniard, dropping him to fifth by Turn 1.

Quartararo led the field away but by the second sector, it was Pecco Bagnaia who took control with Taka Nakagami sitting in third.

Vinales then began his ascent back to the front at the end of Lap 1, passing Alex Rins to take fourth.

There was then a coming together between Rins’ Suzuki and Johann Zarco on Lap 2, with the Spaniard running off-track and dropping down the order to last as his Pramac rival took fifth place.

One rider who crucially benefited from a strong start was Marc Marquez who made his way from P20 to P10 by the fifth lap.

Quartararo then began to pressure the Ducati of Bagnaia by the end of Lap 5, eventually passing the Italian to take the lead a lap later in the final sector.

The French rider instantly started to check out from his rivals, pulling out a 0.9s gap by Lap 8.

Valentino Rossi’s tough 2021 season didn’t improve in the Dutch GP as the Italian had a fast crash at Turn 7 on the eighth lap, fortunately ‘The Doctor’ was unscathed.

The battle for second heated up on Lap 11 as Nakagami began pressuring Bagnaia, passing him a couple of times but the Ducati power was enough to re-pass and keep the Honda at bay.

At the beginning of Lap 15, Bagnaia was handed a long-lap penalty for exceeding track limits which he took on the same lap.

This would have handed Nakagami second place, but the Japanese rider began to struggle from this point onwards, dropping from third to ninth by Lap 16.

As all of this was happening Jack Miller crashed out at Turn 5 on Lap 15, which forced the Australian to retire from the Dutch GP.

At the front, Quartararo was managing his lead all the time by Lap 22 from his teammate, and took the chequered flag for his fourth win of the season.

Vinales crossed the line 2.757s behind Quartararo to take second, with Joan Mir rounding off the podium in third.

Johann Zarco ended the Dutch GP in fourth with Miguel Oliveira in fifth, the Portuguese rider’s run off podiums comes to an end, with Pecco Bagnaia sixth.

Marc Marquez and Aleix Espargaro engaged in a great battle in the latter stages of the race, with Marquez coming out on top top finish seventh ahead of the Aprilia.

Taka Nakagami and Pol Espargaro rounded out the top-10, with Alex Rins having a good recovery ride to end in 11th.

Brad Binder finished the Dutch GP in 12th, with Tech3’s Danilo Petrucci behind in 13th, and Alex Marquez in 14th.

Enea Bastianini rounded off the points threshold in 15th place.

Lorenzo Savadori, Garrett Gerloff and Luca Marini ended the Dutch GP as the final finishers in 16th, 17th and 18th.